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Halloween, which takes place every year on 31st October, is an important event, particulary in America. It originated hundreds of years ago when it was believed that on this night the souls of the dead came back and walked among the living. Today, it is treated light-heartedly and celebrated mainly by children. A certain amount of preparation is required of those who take part. Costumes and masks, typically of ghosts or witches, have to be made. Sweets are bought and parties are organised. Most importantly, a lantern is made. This is done by tasking a large pumpkin and cutting out the inside, which is then used to make a pie. Next, holes are cut out of one side in the shape of an evil face, and a candle is placed inside the lantern so that the light glows through the eyes and mouth. On the day itself, or rather in the evening children wander around the streets dressed in their costumes. The custom is for children to knock on doors in their neighbourhood and say "Trick or treat". This means that their neighbours have to treat them to sweets or candies, otherwise the "ghosts and witches" will play a trick on them. Usually the adults offer them something, but if they fail to, then a practical joke might be played. This is usually something harmless such as putting shaving foam on the uncooperative neighbour's windows. If a party has been arranged, then the lights are turned out and the children take part in a variety of activities. This might include anything from telling ghost stories to dancing. Although the parties are based on a rather frightening theme, the emphasis is, of course, on having fun. A typical party game for Halloween is played by putting apples into a barrel of water and inviting the children to pick them up with their teeth. Special drinks are made, which are served with the traditional pumpkin pie. Many people enjoy Halloween as an excuse to dress up and have fun. It is unique in that its theme is essentially not a pleasant one. However, it remains popular and is eagerly anticipated every year by people of all ages.